Recently my attention was captured by an article that appeared in 'The Hindu" newspaper.
It seems like there's a move to introduce air taxi for sabarimala pilgrims. Is it really a necessity?
Don't you think it will create a disturbance in the pristine forests which is also a project tiger reserve. Wild animals and trees also need space to live and thrive. We cannot invade and steal what little is left for them for our luxuries. Necessities, I can understand, but luxury????
Please read the article.:
Helicopter taxis for pilgrims A Correspondent
|From Nedumbassery to Nilackal base camp|
Nedumbassery: With more number of devotees from the neighbouring States opting for a flight to Kochi en route to the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple, the airport here is expecting a quantum jump in the movement of domestic passengers during the ongoing two-month annual pilgrimage season.
According to official sources, the number of devotees arriving at the airport here had been registering a steady increase over the last few years and the trend was expected to continue in the current season as well. During the period, a largest number of devotees are expected to arrive from Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai.
Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), in association with Bharath Airways Private Limited, has introduced a helicopter taxi service to the Nilackal base camp.
The Travancore Devaswom Board, in September, gave permission to CIAL for operating the service, subject to the necessary security clearance and permission from the authorities.
The first flight of the season, carrying five devotees from Hyderabad, is scheduled to take off from here next week. The services will be operated with a Bell-407 type chopper having a passenger capacity of five. There are also provisions to avail of a bigger chopper with 12-14 seats. The flying time from Nedumbassery to Nilackal will be 30 minutes and the fares will be charged on hourly basis.
The airport has also introduced pick and drop services for the pilgrims landing here from various destinations.
CIAL has been reporting a consistent growth in domestic traffic on the back of a sharp jump in the number of domestic tourists arriving here.
Domestic traffic in the airport here during the last fiscal grew by a healthy margin of 26.7 per cent along with a 6 per cent increase in domestic aircraft movements.